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College Hockey:
Backup ‘Tender Helps Huskies Tie Engineers

UConn Rallies For Draw, Takes Third At Stampede

— The parade to the penalty box continued in the Maverick Stampede consolation as Connecticut overcame a 3-1 deficit by scoring twice in the third period, once on the power play and once four-on-four, to tie the Rensselaer Engineers, 3-3.

The Huskies won the shootout in the seventh round when Mike Neilon went to the backhand on Jordan Alford to secure third place for the Huskies.

“I thought our guys answered the call,” said Huskies coach Bruce Marshall.

After Connecticut scored first — on the power play — the Engineers scored three straight times to take a 3-1 lead.

Matthew Scherer started the scoring for the Huskies as he jammed home a rebound in the slot past Alford.

A beautiful skating play by Chris Hussey saw him score his second of the year in two games. Hussey took it down the left wing and raced in front where he put it over the glove of Scott Tomes to tie the game at 1.

Tomes left the game after Kirk MacDonald, who was crosschecked on the play by Nick Marean, landed on the netminder, knocked his helmet off and Tomes had his head hit the ground. He was replaced by freshman Brad Smith, playing his first game, in the net.

The Engineers scored consecutive five-on-three goals to pull ahead 3-1. The first was a Kevin Croxton goal as he used his reach to put the puck around an outstretched Smith, and then Matt McNeely blasted a shot from the high slot over Smith’s glove to give the Engineers a 3-1 lead.

After those goals, Smith settled down and stopped every Engineer shot, including some beauties as he allowed Connecticut to get back into the game.

The Huskies drew within one goal as Neilon poked one past Alford, and then the Huskies tied it on the power play when Brian Burns put one from behind the net that bounced off an Engineer defenseman past Alford.

The game ended in a tie, but not before Smith made two point-blank saves in the overtime, one a shot by Oren Eizenman and one by MacDonald.

“He got a baptism by fire, didn’t he?” said Marshall. “Two goals on a five-on-three and then a shootout? What a job.”

The Engineers gave their two opponents this weekend a total of 23 power-play chances, giving up five power-play goals.

“We have to be more disciplined than that in order to win games,” said Engineer head coach Dan Fridgen. “We didn’t play a very smart two games.

“And the guys know it too.”

The two teams will meet again next Saturday in Troy, N.Y.

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